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With tight capacity, 2 years needed for replacements
Honda and other automakers that have recalled vehicles equipped with Takata airbags are trapped in a nasty dilemma. Even if automakers fend off federal regulators’ request for a nationwide recall of driver-side airbags, it could take two years or so for Takata to produce enough replacement airbag inflators. And it’s unclear whether other suppliers can help Takata produce more inflators. Several automakers have warned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that other suppliers’ inflators would require lengthy testing.
Source: Automotive News
Honda Motor Co. said it failed to report more than 1,700 claims of injury or death involving its cars to U.S. regulators, a violation that would be one of the biggest in history and could lead to a fine of $35 million. In a synopsis of an internal review filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Honda blamed the underreporting on “inadvertent data entry or computer programming errors” that spanned 11 years. NHTSA hasn’t made the audit documents public yet as it continues an investigation.
Motorists are being warned of increased costs or huge queues when hiring vehicles as the government plans to rush-through the abolition of the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence in January 2015
The counterpart, which has been around since 1998, is being axed as part of the government’s drive to reduce red tape and bureaucracy. However, political pressure to speed up the process now means the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is set to renege on its promise to provide the vehicle rental industry with an affordable and workable alternative for checking the counterpart in real time.
There are around 10 million vehicle rental transactions in the UK each year and the majority of rental bookings are approved very quickly and at no cost by checking the driver endorsement and qualification information contained on the driver licence counterpart. Failure to make these checks can nullify insurance cover and potentially result in an unlicensed driver being allowed to rent a vehicle.
If the government proceeds with its plans, the counterpart will be abolished from 1 January 2015 and millions of existing driving licence documents will instantly become out-of-date. The absence of the industry-specific online solution promised by the DVLA will leave rental branches having to use potentially costly or time-consuming alternatives. For example, they may use the agency’s premium rate telephone service or rely on customers sharing access to their online driver records via a print-off or smartphone screen.
U.S. auto sales will rise 1 percent to 1.26 million vehicles in November, the highest for the month since 2001, according to a forecast jointly developed by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. LMC Automotive on Tuesday also forecast full-year 2014 U.S. auto sales at 16.4 million vehicles, up about 5 percent from 2013. LMC Automotive also sees 2015 U.S. auto sales at 16.8 million vehicles, which would be 61 percent higher than 2009, when U.S. auto sales hit their lowest rate since World War II, adjusted for population. U.S. consumers will spend an estimated $33.3 billion on new vehicles in November, J.D. Power said.